Very interesting article by the Helena IR today. The county Commissioners are discussing whether or not to install at cell phone tower at Canyon Ferry Lake. The proposed site would be located east of O'Malleys. Having lived at the lake I can see the plus side to having a cell phone reception, however I am sure it will be an eye sore for who ever has to look at it. Maybe they can find a hidden place!
"A controversial cell tower near the north end of Canyon Ferry Reservoir will be discussed today at the Lewis and Clark County Commission meeting.
Installation of the 197-foot tower was debated for three hours at an April 24 commission meeting, but due to problems with the legal public notice for the item, commissioners were forced to put off making a decision. Instead, they’re expected to decide either at their May 22 or 24 meeting whether to allow a 2,998-square foot parcel to be subdivided from owner William Morey’s 70-acre plot, which would allow for the tower to be built.
Rebecca Shaw, a county planner, said today’s meeting will be focused on the two variance requests by Morey regarding landscaping around a fence surrounding the structure and not having to provide water for fire protection.
“We are not actually going through the whole application again, since we did that at the earlier meeting,” Shaw said. “We will be taking public comments on the variance requests.”
No well is proposed for the site, which is why the applicant is seeking a variance for landscaping. The structure also has its own chemical fire protection system.
As of Monday, the county planning office had received 42 comments in favor of the proposal, as well as five petitions, and 37 opposed to it.
Proponents of the tower say it’s needed for safety reasons, since cellphone reception is limited at the popular reservoir 15 miles east of Helena. They note instances where people who were involved in boating, swimming and vehicle accidents have had to knock on residents’ doors seeking a land-line in order to call for help.
People who are opposed to the tower mainly cite aesthetics as the reason why they don’t want to see it erected. They note that the tower will be visible from the lake, and that in order to be installed a 12-degree slope will have to be flattened and the drainage rerouted.
An adjacent property owner added that if he built a home as planned, the tower would be in his view of the reservoir.
The proposed cell tower site is north of Canyon Ferry Road and east of O’Malley’s Pub and Restaurant. The tower would be operated by Verizon Wireless.
County planning staff is not offering a recommendation on the proposal.
The commission meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the third-floor commission chambers in the City/County Building on Park Avenue."